Saudi al Qaeda Cell Names New Leader

CNN — Saudi al Qaeda cell names new leader

Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia announced Sunday that Saleh al-Oufi will replace slain leader Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin, according to the Islamist Web site where the group posts its messages.

Al-Oufi, a former prison guard, holds the number five spot on Saudi Arabia’s list of 26 most wanted terrorists, although Saudi security sources told CNN that he lacks some of the operational experience of al-Muqrin, who was killed in a shoot-out with Saudi security after the murder of American hostage Paul Johnson.

Al-Muqrin’s al Qaeda cell claimed responsibility for Johnson’s June 12 kidnapping, then vowed on Tuesday to kill him if the Saudis did not release al Qaeda prisoners within 72 hours.

Chilling photographs of Johnson’s head and body appeared Friday on the Islamist Web site Voice of Jihad. Hours later, Saudi security forces killed al-Muqrin and three other members of the cell and captured 12 more suspects.

Johnson’s family remained in seclusion Sunday in New Jersey.

On the Web site Saturday, the group vowed to continue to fight “jihad” as it has “promised God,” and said the killing of its “brothers” will make the group “stronger.”

I look forward to the naming of al-Oufi’s replacement. Preferably, soon.

(Hat tip: Laurence Simon at Command Post)

FILED UNDER: Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    I look forward to the naming of al-Oufi’s replacement. Preferably, soon.


  2. ibejo says:

    Why don’t they just send us his home address while they are at it. What kind of a nimrod move is it to announce the successor? That’s just begging for another thumping.

  3. Eric Akawie says:

    Well, ibejo, they need to let “their” Princes know where to send the checks.